The Wii U Could Have Been A Handheld Console Instead

The main appeal of the Wii U, other than the promise of Mario and Zelda in HD, is its large controller with a fancy touch screen. That controller wasn't ordained to be a controller from the start, though.

"During the roundtable discussions there were such arguments about should we make it capable of being a standalone system or should we make it work only with the [base console]system," Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told Gamasutra. Like one of those homemade GameCube portable units, then, only official. Thankfully, Nintendo quickly came to their senses.

"We came to the conclusion that this controller is only going to show the images generated and processed by this hardware unit – and sent from the hardware unit wirelessly. That means sharper graphics. A battery couldn't do that."

Iwata also revealed that planning for the Wii U began all the way back in 2007, which is when Nintendo first decided that using a second screen would be the way to go for its next home console. He also said another early idea for the console's controller was to have the second screen separate from the pad as a standalone device.

Iwata: Wii U Planning Started Immediately After Wii Release [Gamasutra]


    Unfortunately it's still all for nought in my book if you can only have one controller per console. Don't even need the full set of four, I was happy with 2 controllers all the way through the 90s.

      We'll have to wait and see.

    I always wanted them to make a small portable version of the Wii, so then they can name it the "Wee Wii"

    Call me what you will. But I have no interest in the Wii U simply because of its controller.
    I got suckered into buying a wii at launch and the motion controls were horrendous. So I'm quite skeptical about this new 'gimmick'
    As they say fool me once...

    "The main appeal of the Wii U ... is its large controller with a fancy touch screen."

    ... well that is your opinion, in mine that is it's biggest failing. I have no urge to play a console ON a tablet.

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